With beautiful weather expected in Yakima for the two days covering this year’s West Coast League All-Star Game events, there’s no doubt the 10 players who will participate in Monday’s Home Run Derby will heat things up.
The Home Run Derby, presented by Wildhorse Casino, begins at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Yakima County Stadium, with gates opening at 5:30 p.m.
Players participating in the Home Run Derby are Lucas Denney (Yakima Valley Pippins), Nick Nyquist (Walla Walla Sweets), Evan Johnson (Wenatchee), Taylor Wright (Kelowna Falcons), Chase Illig (Bellingham Bells), Ian Nowak (Port Angeles Lefties), Hunter Vansau (Victoria HarbourCats), Collin Runge (Bend Elks), Devlin Granberg (Cowlitz Black Bears) and WCL home run leader Jordan Qsar (Corvallis Knights).
Qsar of Pepperdine leads the league in homers with 11 while Granberg of Dallas Baptist and Wright of Maryland are second in the WCL with 8 roundtrippers each.
The Derby will consist of three rounds. In Round 1, each batter will receive 10 “free pitches” to attempt to hit home runs. After that, each batter will receive 10 “strikes” to pad his home run total. A “strike” will be a hit ball or an umpire-called strike if a batter takes a pitch. The top three batters will advance to the second round, with the same parameters as the first round. The third (championship) round will feature the top scores from the first and second rounds.
The top three finishers will receive trophy bats provided by DeVo Bats.
Following the Derby, which is part of the All-Star Fan Fest, is the All-Star Concert featuring performer Aaron Crawford, who will entertain the crowed with two 45-minute sets. All 43 All-Stars will be introduced on stage between sets.
Pitcher Travis Kuhn of the Victoria HarbourCats has been added to the North roster. Kuhn, a redshirt freshman-to-be at University of San Diego, has made 15 relief appearances, recorded 7 saves and posted a 2.10 ERA while striking out 29 over 21.1 innings pitched for the Cats.